April 20, 2017

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By Henry Pelling (auth.)

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Hyndman and British Socialism (1961). 34 CHAPTER III Henderson's Party: War and Reconstruction (1914-22) ( I ) ALTHOUGH the Labour Party had by no means ignored questions offoreign policy before July 1914, it was only with the outbreak of war that they became of paramount importance. From then onwards until 19 I 8 and indeed in the early post-war years, up to 1922, issues of war and diplomacy were dominant in the party's councils. As the Sarajevo crisis reached its climax at the end of July, the Labour Party took a vigorous share in the agitation against war which was sponsored throughout Europe by the Socialist International.

The increasing size of the extra-parliamentary party meant that one man could no longer effectively combine the secretaryship with major parliamentary duties. Ramsay MacDonald from 1906 to 191 I managed to be secretary of both the parliamentary and the extra-parliamentary party; but by 1910 he was an obvious candidate for the 31 A Short History of the Labour Party chairmanship ofthe parliamentary party and it was clear that he could not do justice both to this post and to his extraparliamentary responsibilities.

51 CHAPTER IV The MacDonald Leadership (19 22-3 1 ) ( 1 ) THE years 1922-31 were the years of Ramsay MacDonald's leadership of the Labour Party. The very concept of 'leadership' was something of a novelty: but MacDonald was a leader in a sense that none of his predecessors in the party chairmanship (including himself before the war) had been. From 1922 he was described as not just the 'chairman' of the parliamentary party but as its 'chairman and leader'. The phrase was used to indicate that he was also Leader of the Opposition and potential Prime Minister.

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